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Annual Reports. Utility Pole Research Cooperative

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Annual Reports. Utility Pole Research Cooperative

 

"Wood poles have been used to support electric transmission and telecommunication lines since the late 1800's. These poles have provided long reliable service under a variety of environmental conditions. Originally, utilities primarily used naturally durable wood species such as American chestnut of cedar. The loss of the chestnut to disease and the limited supply of cedars forced many utilities to substitute less durable species such as pine or Douglas fir. These species required the application of supplemental preservatives to provide long term services and encouraged the development of a wood treating industry, specifications for proper use of preservatives, and later, inspection programs for ensuring that poles retained adequate strength to support their design loads.

For many years, detection of decay and its control in utility poles posed a major challenge for utilities, but the development of fumigants in the late 1960's opened many new avenues for prolonging the useful life of wood. Oregon State University (OSU) had long been active in utility poles issues, but the development of fumigants led to a increasing emphasis on improving the performance of wood poles and finally, in 1980 to the establishment of Utility Pole Research Cooperative (Coop). Originally established to develop new fumigants and assess the effects of air seasoning or pole properties, the Coop has changed its focus over the past two decades to address a variety of wood-related issues that improve the performance of wood, making utilities more competitive."

Description above is taken from Utility Pole Research Cooperative Website [http://www.cof.orst.edu/coops/utilpole/startpage.html].

Image above, "Starker at post farm," is used with permission courtesy of the Oregon State University Archives Harriet's Collection (HC 1008). [See at http://digitalcollections.library.oregonstate.edu/u?/archives,1264]

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Questions regarding this collection should be sent to Bonnie Avery [bonnie.avery@oregonstate.edu].

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